Saturday, March 30, 2013

In Which I Wonder About My Sanity

So, as I've mentioned, my ridiculous immune system is apparently throwing a ticker-tape parade in there or something.  (Since I stopped eating almost everything* I did stop itching all over, so... that's something.)  Mercifully, the white wine was a one-off.  Life without liquor is not worth living.

The allergist ran a series of IgE titers; I hoped quantitative data would make me feel less crazy.  (Naturally, they were all negative.)  My total IgE level is low normal.  Who the hell knows what my T cells are up to, except, clearly, nothing good.

I do feel like a complete wackaloon, despite how I am, actually, a trained scientist (with a fancy PhD!) who has made careful observations.  Spoonful of peanut butter at 4 PM, followed by instant feeling of misery?  Yep.  I am backed by peer-reviewed studies in reputable journals, which record such reactions (from the entire list) in persons allergic to birch, ragweed, or timothy grass pollen (check, check, check).  It just all seems so unlikely.

Also, I am very hungry.  Right now I'm in an involuntary Paleo boot camp, without nuts or bacon, but with beans and rice!  Sadly, rice is very boring.  I had chickpea burgers with horseradish for breakfast today (all together now: ICK!), because I was so desperate.  I had a sweet potato for dinner.

Meanwhile, I clearly need to cook more.  In my free time.  While getting the house ready to show and managing a thousand other things.  Yep.  This is going to go great.

* Wheat, soy, almonds, peanuts, pecans, walnuts, celery, parsley, mango, avocado, apples, pears, strawberries, raspberries, bananas, apricots, and maybe figs and corn. Possibly raw carrots.  And that's just the stuff I'm reasonably sure about.   Also, of course, the unrelated violent allergy to cow dairy products.  I used to be able to eat goat cheese but now I'm afraid to try.  See also: ITCHING ALL OVER 24 HOURS A DAY.


  1. This sounds just awful. Immune system in time-out! Can you eat any other flours? Risotto?
    A friend of mine is terribly allergic to cow milk, and she told me that sheep and goat cheeses may contain up to 10% cow milk without labeling that (!) so she only ever eats those when bought from a farmers market or other source where you can actually ask what's in them, even if it's less than 10%.

    Also, unrelated -- moving a thousand miles is stressful, but luckily, it's over at some point. I've done it twice, sans kids, but involving a language I don't speak all that well, for extra fun. And it still mostly worked out. But if you have a chance of dropping the kids off with friends or parents for the actual week of the move, which is what my parents did, go for it.

    1. I will be trying other flours - after Pesach. But I still have to cook every damn thing!

      The kids and I are flying to VA to stay with my mom and go to that wedding, and my dad is flying up here to help Dr. S. It's a whole disaster.

      Hmm, I wonder if that's true of goat cheese here? This is the Dairy State, after all (I know your current state also claims the title but it's a lie!) and the regulations are pretty strict. I'll ask the hippies at the co-op, they know everything about the stuff they sell. :)

    2. Your parent support plan sounds great!
      For the goat cheese, my friend lives in NY, don't know about regulations in other states... asking the hippies sure sounds like a good plan :)

  2. 1. You are not a wackaloon, just very very unlucky. So I'm guessing the immuneologist had some very unhelpful things to say about the IgE sitation.
    2. Cooking for you is like a giant puzzle, or an episode of Iron Chef. Except instead of one ingredient that must be in all dishes, there are many ingredients that can't be in any dishes! Ok, so it's hard to pull a Tom Sawyer on this. But, perhaps I can bring you food (and an ingredient list) so you don't need to eat a sweet potato for supper. I can't stand people being hungry.
    3. What do you think about cilantro, is it too closely related to parsley? Quinoa? Barley?
    4. Really, you're not crazy. And thank goodness wine is still available.

    1. On the IgE, he'd warned me it was unlikely to be informative. So he was right. (There's apparently no correlation, which, fine.) He correctly pointed out that no amount of blood/skin testing would tell me what to avoid, and it still had to be determined experimentally. But I want DATA!!! WHY is there no data? (Because mammals are complex, that's why.)

      It's reverse Iron Chef! I really need to go grocery shopping. AGAIN. I did have an omelet for dinner. The main problem is, I don't like meat that much. And it's Pesach! Did you ever see that one Iron Chef episode where they made a sardine mousse for dessert? Classic.

      I don't know about cilantro; I haven't eaten it raw in some time (cooked green things are generally okay). This fairly comprehensive list does include it, but... who knows! Quinoa is probably okay; I don't think it's related to anything. Barley has gluten and I have no idea if it's the gluten protein or some other wheat protein. (I'm afraid to try it until I get a refill on the prescription antihistamine.)

      I did try re-testing almonds tonight and... well, let's just say that was a mistake!

      I feel extremely unlucky, I tell you what.

  3. Totally not insane. I discovered I have trouble with salicylic acid (as in the itching and more nastiness including SOB) and when I cut that out, I got magically better. Sometimes if I eat something "bad" my IgE does something crazy and other times it doesn't, when I'm the same level of sick. Don't know if that's the magic bullet for you but it could be a clue in the right direction.


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